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Friday the 17th of November 2023

I really needed to do something creative and a couple of days ago I baked a rather delicious lemon drizzle cake. The first in a very long time.There are more ways to enjoy creativity than just painting, drawing and writing you know. The evenings when I would usually be at work on a canvas have been taken up of late by falling asleep cuddled up on the sofa with my S.O. It is where we forget about the world and wake up when the house is cold, because the eating has gone off. Which usually means it is time to go to bed. Other forms of creative output can be found in gardening, making plans for the forthcoming year and other stuff. Everything adds up and when sown into rich soil will grow up and become one thousand fold their original size. What am I growing? Well that would be telling all I can say is it is worth my while, I am not wasting my time and will only bring forth happiness and joy. Anything else is simply not worth the effort. It is my way of bringing peace to the world, by at least having peace at home. You see all good things begin at home, Jeff Bezos will testify to that. Apply hard work to the equation and some positive thinking and visualisation of what you are aiming for and everything will fall into place. The universe works for everyone, it is simply a matter of knowing how and what to do to attain your goals. Nobody ever got very far by focussing on negativity and having a cannot do attitude. Nor does making excuses and then being jealous, none of this does any good. Nor does watching the news or listening to the tell- a -lie -vision machine, this machine is much better off being used for watching films or simply being left off. The rewards of hard work are immeasurable: blood, sweat, tears and getting up early all play their part. The rewards of the artist are not totally dissimilar: questionable mental health, self doubt, anxiety, questionable mental health, (Again), little social life and even poverty. Which makes you want to ask is it all worth it, well Rembrandt thought it so and so did countless others. Their legacy is there for all to see, just visit any half decent gallery and see the results of years of self doubt and mental anguish. Look a little closer and realise the close correlation between mental ill health, depression and creativity and then thank Dog it's not you. Or are you? This planet would be a very dull place but for those who paint, draw and create.

I could write for hours on my open dodgy mental health, but then I would probably find the men in white coats on my door, wanting to take me to hospital. So of an evening I sit there holding Claire in my arms and alternating my vision between the box in the corner and the easel in the other corner and appreciating what really matters in this world.

Having at least a little bit of sanity to go with the madness of everyday life.

I am delighted to say that Claire has had a dramatic and positive impact on my life. She radiates a peaceful, calm energy and I feel relaxed in her company. I am happy.

This is actually an edit of what I banged out yesterday, which when I came to edit, realised it was not going anywhere. Writing about politics, the news and the devil were not cutting the mustard. The devil is least to blame for any of this, he has his own job to do. And with all the bad press he has received over the years that must be pretty hard core. But okay, let's face it he is man's invention just like alcohol and religion. Both of which are proven to be seriously injurious to human life and that of society generally. Imagine if there was no religion and alcohol was only found in antifreeze or laboratories. How much better and healthier would the world and its peoples be?

This article was somehow going to involve a mention of the Elysee Palace in Paris and then the burning down of the original White House in 1814 by the British. From there it was going to sidetrack into a mention of General Sir Harry Smith who witnessed the event and from there to his wife for whom the city of Ladysmith in South Africa was named for. The Elysee Palace is the official residence for the president of the French republic. Comprising of 365 rooms comprising offices, salons and others with construction of the place starting in 1718 and eventually being opened in 1722. It was originally built for a French nobleman and soldier: Louis Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, (2 August 1679 – 3 August 1753) There is no need to make mention of its current inhabitant.

Well that has mentioned the Elysee palace, as for the Original White House? Oh what the hell and why not, its history and history is good. It teaches and warns against the past. Offering the insights for some to see the lessons we are doomed to repeat until we learn them. The original White House was situated in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, which goes part way to explaining its modern address at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As mentioned, the original building was burnt down by the British in the war of 1812. Despite the actual arson occurring two years later in 1814. An event witnessed by a certain Harry Smith who described it thus: " It horrified us coming fresh from the Duke's humane warfare in the south of France." Smith was later become General Sir Harry Smith (1787-1860) His wife being Juana María de los Dolores de León Smith, Lady Smith ((27 March 1798 – 12 October 1872)

Why do I write this? Well I love history, I love history as much as I love the cats, as much as I love Claire. If it's history then I will probably read about it. Only recently have I finished a large book on the history of medicine by Roy Porter. It had everything from Leeches to Galen, Hippocrates and Barber Surgeons. A most fascinating read and thoroughly enjoyable. My current read is Simon Sebags’s book Court of the Red Tsar, which is all about Stalin and that man’s entourage. After that there is another book on Hitler waiting to be consumed and after that? Well there is a whole library of books waiting to be worked through here.

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